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We are sneaking up on one of the greatest sporting events of the year. In fact, there is not a better sporting event that does not involve a game. March Madness, NFL Playoffs, NBA Playoffs, World Series, NFL Draft, MMA Main Events, they are all good. But the NBA Draft may be the best of them all. If you love the NBA, and I understand I’m in the minority on this, the draft is can’t miss. Even in a weak class (like this one) you got to keep your head on a swivel for trades. Ray Allen was dealt 2 years ago on draft night, and rumor has it he could be dealt again.
Needless to say I am over the top excited for June 25 th. I took a year off from making a mock draft but it’s back by popular demand… err it’s back nonetheless. 60 players with some break down. Leave a comment with your thoughts. (You don’t need an insider account to see picks 6-60, enjoy.)
1. Los Angeles Clippers- Blake Griffin, Soph., PF, Oklahoma
The Clip have already announced this one, but I will gladly count it when it goes down. I wonder if Blake can succeed in LA. The have a crowded front line with him, Camby, Kamen, and Randolph.
2. Memphis Grizzlies- Ricky Rubio, PG, Spain
Became a huge fan of his watching the Olympics. I know they have Mike Conley, and it’s early, but he kind of sucks. Rubio-Mayo-Gay-Warrick-Gasol, it’s getting there.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder- James Harden, Soph., G, Arizona State
In a couple years Seattle is really going to feel the effects of losing their team, not to say they haven’t already. They may be intrigued by Thabeet, but I think they should take Harden who’s the 3 rd best player in the draft.
4. Sacramento Kings- Johnny Flynn, Soph., PG, Syrcuse
This may seem high for Flynn, but why mess around. The Kings need a PG in the worst way. Everyone loves Jrue Holliday… I don’t get it. Take Flynn and move on.
5. Washington Wizards- Hasheem Thabeet, Jr., C, UConn
Most likely lottery pick to be traded there has been a lot of talk about the #5. Washington is not likely to make and Thabeet is not likely to fall this far, so I’ll slot him here.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves- Tyreke Evans, Fr., PG, Memphis
They could use just about everything. Hopefully Al Jefferson returns to form. Evans and Randy Foye would make for an interesting back court, each can play both spots.
7. Golden State Warriors- Stephen Curry, Jr., G, Davidson
The Knicks will be steaming, but you think Don Nelson would pass up on a guy like Curry. I’m torn on what kind of player he will be. A Curry-Monta Ellis back court would be small, but scary.
8. New York Knicks- Jeff Teague, Soph., G, Wake Forest
Another reach potentially, however Mike D’Antoni would love a guy with the versatility of Teague. He’d prefer Curry, and I think Jennings will be better than Teague, but still this is the pick.
9. Toronto Raptors- Jordan Hill, Jr., PF, Arizona
The Raptors take a long look at Holliday, who is still available on my board, instead they bolster the front line by taking Hill.
10. Milwaukee Bucks- Brandon Jennings, PG, Italian League
I love Brandon Jennings. You’ve heard the story by now, wanted to go to Arizona, wasn’t eligible, went to Italy to play pro ball. He did not play well. But this guy was the #1 rated high school player in a class that had Holliday, DeRozan, Evans, and Mullens. I don’t think he got worse this year playing in a league better than the NCAA.
11. New Jersey Nets- Terrence Williams, Sr., F, Louisville
The Nets have done a decent job in the draft in recent years and it continues here with Terrence “Point Forward” Williams.
12. Charlotte Bobcats- DeMar DeRozan, Fr., G, USC
A freak athlete joins the Bobcats. Maybe MJ can rub off on DeRozan.
13. Indiana Pacers- Eric Maynor, Sr., PG, VCU
Indiana needs someone to split time with T.J. Ford and get the ball to Danny Granger, that guy is Eric Maynor.
14. Phoenix Suns- Earl Clark, Jr., F, Louisville
With Matt Barnes and Grant Hill as unrestricted free agents this summer the Suns will have to replace at least one of them. Earl Clark is a great athlete who could fit right in.
15. Detroit Pistons- Austin Daye, Soph., F, Gonzaga
This is one of those picks that proves that my mock is a combo of what I think should happen and what I think will happen. I am not a fan of Daye, right now. He needs to add strength, and should have played another year. All accounts say he’s a Top 20, Top 15 pick, so here ya go.
16. Chicago Bulls- DeJuan Blair, Soph, F, Pitt
The Bulls young bigs (Thomas and Noah) are long and athletic, not thick and strong. Blair would give them a much needed dimension.
17. Philadelphia 76ers- Jrue Holiday, Fr., PG, UCLA
If I was a GM I wouldn’t pick Holiday in the 1 st round. I remember watching him play a high school game on ESPN a couple years ago and thinking this guy is good. Then I read he was a top 5 player in the country and was shocked. Now everyone says Top 10, Top 5. What? We’ll see.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves- James Johnson, Soph., F, Wake Forest
Corey Brewer has been a bit of a flop, this is the 2 nd of the 3 1 st round picks for Minny. I doubt they take them all, but Johnson is someone they could use.
19. Atlanta Hawks- Ty Lawson, Jr., PG, UNC
Hawks and PGs. Classic. Do they or don’t they? Bibby is a free agent if he doesn’t come back they’ll have a huge need.
20. Utah Jazz- Gerald Henderson, Jr., G, Duke
Definitely a Jerry Sloan type of player. If he slips this far the Jazz would be thrilled.
21. New Orleans Hornets- Tyler Hansbrough, Sr., PF, UNC
I’ve never been a fan of Hansbrough. That’s just a fact. But he can be a back up PF in the NBA for 10-12 years, who spot starts and gets you 8 points 6.5 rebounds. He could be an important piece on a winner.
22. Dallas Mavericks- B.J. Mullens, Fr., C, Ohio State
The Mavs are a team that don’t have a ton of needs, especially in a thin draft like this. They can take on a project like Mullens… the Kosta Koufas clone.
23. Sacramento Kings- DaJuan Summers, Jr., F, Georgetown
With their first pick I have the Kings taken a much needed PG. Speaking of needs, they have a lot of them. They should take whoever they feel is the best player left on the board.
24. Portland Trail Blazers- Sam Young, Sr., F, Pitt
The Blazers have a ton of picks (5), but only 1 in the first, meaning 1 guaranteed contract. Young proved to be a very good player in the best conference in the country.
25. Oklahoma City Thunder- Jeff Pendergraph, Sr., PF, Arizona State
I love Pendergraph. Maybe I loved him and Harden too much as I has the Sun Devils in the Final 4. This guy is a gamer. If he falls to the 2 nd round it will be a steal, but one of these teams in the 20s should snatch him up.
26. Chicago Bulls- Chase Budinger, Jr., G, Arizona
The Bulls have a big decision to make on free agent Ben Gordon. If they bring him back they’ll once again have 3 similar sized guards, Gordon, Derrick Rose, and Kirk Hinrich, Budinger could give them an outside threat with height.
27. Memphis Grizzlies- Derrick Brown, Jr., PF, Xavier
The Grizz can use a big tough guy to come off the bench. Derrick Brown fits the bill.
28. Minnesota Timberwolves- Patty Mills, Soph., PG, St. Mary’s
Patty Mills is fantastic. Not sure the T-Wolves keep all 3 of their 1 st round picks, but if Mills is available here they should take him. The guy can run a team.
29. Los Angeles Lakers- Danny Green, Sr., F, UNC
Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza are both free agents. Not saying Danny Green is anywhere as good as those two, but he’s the right position and a proven winner.
30. Cleveland Caviliers- Jon Brockman, Sr., PF, Washington
Cavs are soft, Jon Brockman is hard. He’s not projected to be a 1 st rounder, but this draft does not have a lot of size or toughness, I say they take a shot.
31. Sacramento Kings- Marcus Thornton, LSU
If the SEC player of the year doesn’t get picked in the 1 st, he won’t last long in the 2 nd.
32. Washington Wizards- Darren Collison, UCLA
Wasn’t this guy supposed to be a lottery pick until he submarined his stock 2 NCAA tournys ago.
33. Portland Trail Blazers- Toney Douglas, Florida State
Great scorer for the Seminoles could be a 2 nd round pick we look back at one day.
34. Denver Nuggets- DeMarre Carroll, Missouri
Carroll may need liver surgery. Yes, liver surgery, but in the 2 nd round he’s worth a shot.
35. Detroit Pistons- Nick Calathis, Florida
Calathis signed with a Greek team already, so he could play overseas. Good talent, surprised he’s not going back to Florida for another year.
36. Memphis Grizzlies- Josh Heytvelt, Gonzaga
Another big body for the Grizzlies to trot out there, Heytvelt has a lot of skill, but can he put it together?
37. San Antonio Spurs- Jack McClinton, Miami
One of the best 3 point shooters in the draft, he could find his way into the Spurs rotation.
38. Portland Trail Blazers- Wayne Ellington, UNC
How can a Final 4 Most Outstanding Player fall to the 2 nd round? Ask Miles Simon and Jeff Sheppard.
39. Detroit Pistons- Omri Casspi, Israel
When you have a bunch of picks, you either trade them or draft foreign guys and leave them on the other side of the pond. Look for that going forward.
40. Charlotte Bobcats- Jodie Meeks, Kentucky
I would have liked to see Meeks go back to school and lead that stacked Wildcats team, but instead he’ll have to do all he can to crack an NBA rotation.
41. Milwaukee Bucks- Taj Gibson, USC
Big man who’s jumping ship, did Tim Floyd leave anything there?
42. Los Angeles Lakers- A.J. Price, UConn
Shannon Brown is a restricted free agent this summer, Farmer is an RFA next year and Derek Fisher’s contract is also up after 2010. Makes sense for the Lakers to take someone with this type of skill.
43. Miami Heat- Jerel McNeal, Marquette
I saw a lot of Marquette this year, and think that McNeal could be a solid 9 th man for someone.
44. Detroit Pistons- Dar Tucker, DePaul
Pistons are a mess. How do we not talk about them passing up Carmelo, Bosh, and Wade more? I mean that’s as bad as it gets.
45. Minnesota Timberwolves- Victor Claver, Spain
6’11 youngster who is the typical 2 nd round project that we’ve become accustomed to seeing.
46. Cleveland Cavaliers- Dante Cunningham, Villanova
Cavs need size, and they may end up getting that in a trade.
47. Minnesota Timberwolves- Dionte Christmas, Temple
This guy can score, and when he’s picked he will combine by two favorite days… NBA Draft night and Christmas.
48. Phoenix Suns- Jeremy Pargo, Gonzaga
Great athlete who can get up and down, could be a solid bench player for Phoenix.
49. Atlanta Hawks- A.J. Abrams, Texas
Awesome 3 point shooter, but can he get his shot off in the NBA?
50. Utah Jazz- Jeff Adrian, UConn
Tough, but undersized player who could fit in well for Jerry Sloan.
51. San Antonio Spurs- Jonas Jerebko- Sweden
I got nothing.
52. Indiana Pacers- Goran Suton, Michigan State
Hey, remember him?
53. San Antonio Spurs- Dominic James, Marquette
An injury forced James out of the Big East and NCAA Tournament, will he be able to make an NBA team? I think so.
54. Charlotte Bobcats- Ronald Steele, Alabama
Felton is a restricted FA, I assume they try to bring him back, but you can always grab insurance in round 2.
55. Portland Trail Blazers- Taylor Griffin, Oklahoma
I wonder if the Clippers will try to trade back into the bottom of the draft and pick Taylor to help ease the transition for Blake.
56. Portland Trail Blazers- Daniel Hackett, USC
Portland has a million picks, I can’t see making all of them.
57. Phoenix Suns- Tyrece Rice, Boston College
Rice is a dynamic player who had a great career at BC, I’m saying right now he averages 17.8 points per game in the D league.
58. Boston Celtics- Garrett Siler, Augusta State
Will this be the only selection the C’s make? Rumor had it they were interested in the 2 nd pick. Maybe they just move up in the 2 nd round, Danny has had success there with the likes of Glen Davis, Leon Powe, and Ryan Gomes. I’ve never seen Siler play, but he’s 7 feet tall, and my cousin went there.
59. Los Angeles Lakers- Josh Shipp, UCLA
Adam Morrison could use some company on the bench, maybe Shipp can teach him how to dress.
60. Miami Heat- Nate Miles, Southern Idaho
You might remember Miles as the guy who went to UConn, but never played in a game after getting the boot for violating a restraining order. Sounds like a real class act. Tons of talent though, someone may take a chance.
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